« Jessica Alba's Advice on How to Find a Great Guy | Main | Three Cheers for Square Dancing »

July 25, 2008

Comments

Patricia

You're definitely right about that. "Sex and the City" is a huge problem. Apparently a popular relationship/dating therapist for women is even using their plot line as reference. Each one of us is a character from the show; a "Carrie" or whatever. Women across the country are now asking "which one am I?" to decide how to act in romantic relationships, to "snag that man" and not looking past that to what you rightly call "loveless, childless, neurotic" lives. It's a pity that this therapist won't deconstruct their behaviour and tell us why they are increasingly unhappy and ill at ease. If so, a whole generation of "Sex and the City" watchers might begin to question that lifestyle, and reject it as bogus.

Kat

Yikes. While I know that Miley Cyrus might mean well, the entire presentation of "Sex and the City" isn't exactly a good idea for young girls to take after. We need a better show, a better presented set of role models for girls in my generation!

Rofigo de la Mancha

Patricia,

Everyone seeks identification. Even today, everyone tries to "classify" each other into one archetype or another because being indefinite makes things ambiguous.

When we find something to identify with, it makes relating to our current situation easier. We have an "idea" of the "right" course of action. I do, however, agree that a therapist should know better, and should do the job she went to school for.

It's hard to go through life not knowing who you "should" be. Then, when you are that person, you wonder if that's all you "can" be. As much as the characters from "Sex and the City" are one-dimensional, so too are their opposites. Wouldn't it be better to advocate against sizing yourself up to a TV character, as opposed to simply the hollow ones of "Sex and the City"?

(Growing up as a kid, I would wonder which of the Transformers I was most like from the 1980's cartoon. As I grew up, I got over the fact that I couldn't turn into transport truck or a sports car, but still enjoyed emulating the Autobots' nobility. Would it have been so bad if a counselor asked me if I was more like an Optimus Prime or a Bumble Bee? lol)

* * *

But I digress. I guess the problem is not that the show exists, but that it's too available to generation of women who have no clue about its message until they've been jaded by getting the wrong idea. What I wonder, is if it's possible to refute these media in a way that doesn't give them more power. As they say, "All press is good press". Anytime you reject something, publically, it just gives that thing attention. Is a solution just to ingore the people who are creating a problem and let them stew in their foolishness?

Bagh. I am in no place to call people "stupid," yet at the same time it angers me that they are quite obvsiously doing stupid things only to make feeble apologies later, yet all the while they should have known better. Really though, "Sex in the City" isn't nearly so bad for women as Spike TV's "Manswers" is for men. *sigh*

Tom Babcock

Maybe Miley should check with Jessica Alba about the wisdom of doing a remake of "Sex in the City".

Matthew

While I respect what is being said about the need to provide effective role models for young girls, I think that the points made about Sex and the City point are a little off target.
I don't agree with the idea that the four female protagonists live these apparently empty lives. When the show begins they are in their early thirties; a fairly average age nowadays to be settling down and getting married, and over the course of the series the four women find fulfilling relationships, get married and have children. That is what the whole show is about. Four female friends finding love. I find that the people who have the most to say against the show tend to be the ones who have never watched it more often than casually. Sex and the City is not so much a show about sex as it is about friendship and finding love.
However this is beside the point. Why is it that today a woman is considered to be living an empty shell of an existence if she has not found a man and had children by the time she is in her thirties? I consider such an attitude to be demeaning towards women in the extreme.

Tom Babcock

I wouldn't consider a woman an empty shell is not with a husband by age 30. I see things more as an issue concerning where and how women (and men) are to meet partners and find lasting and meaningful love--hence the reference to the Jessica Alba post of a few days back.

Patricia

Matthew,
You make a point, and I agree with Tom. It's not that being childless or unmarried is the problem. It is how we go about finding love. Indeed is it really "love"? Having watched the show I believe what we see is infatuation, sexual attraction and the thrill of novelty; all of which alone, or even combined, I'm sure you agree, are not love. The fact that they get married, in my opinion is out of pressure: they're thirty and want to settle down, and their latest "love" is here. Remember we haven't yet seen the sequel. Do you foresee divorce?

Ken

But I guess you can dress up just about anyone in a $400 pair of shoes and have them swill delicious-looking cocktails and girls and women alike will be drawn to them.

Fifty years ago it would have been elaborate hairdos, gobs of diamonds, and expensive cigarettes instead of $400 shoes and cocktails.

"Oh, the more it changes
The more it stays the same;
And the Hand just rearranges
The players in the game..."
-- Al Stewart, "Nostradamus", 1974

lewsta

The root of the issue is not which characters in mass media our younger ones are idolising, but the very fact they are in search of identity at all. We have sacrificed generational continuity and family identity on the altars of individuality and self worth, and the neara utter abdication of the mandate "fathers, TEACH your children". Whether it be the vamps of Sex and the City, or cartoon transforming robots, children are driven to these idols to fill the huge void remaining because families have failed to raise their children within the family identity. Babies which are not killed before seeing the light of day will be shuffled off to daycare factories whilst Mum spends her days being "fulfilled" by her dead end "career", then, as they grow a bit the telly takes over, training them to be just like the ones seen on the magic box. They used to do that in Sparta a couple milennia past, and remember where THAT led. Sorry, but no, replacing the present lot of media idols with a "cleaner" lot will not answer the matter. Until the hearts of Fathers are turned back to their children, we will neither value them nor have "good" ones. Nor will we as a culture know true peace or prosperity. And our old people will continue to be cast off into institutions that warehouse them, well separated from the grandchildren who desparately need to understand who they are. The answer is not reforming Hollywood, but reforming ourselves.

Rofigo de la Mancha

Oh lewsta, dem's fightin' woids.

I really don't think you're giving enough credibility to young people. Do you actually think I've sacrificed my identity to a favourite childhood TV show?

Let me confess something here.

I've never enjoyed being with my family BECAUSE of the idea of a natural "family unit". It's hard to call it natural when you have after school specials breathing down your neck. Every Friday night my family would sit together and watch "Step by Step" or "Boy Meets World" and any other formulaic garbage put toghether for TGIF night. We liked it. It made us feel like a "family."

However, one day (sometime between 12 and 14 years old) I realized, "Wait, this isn't ... _real_." I couldn't take it anymore. It felt so fake and mass produced. I rejected to notion of the nuclear nuclear family in general.

The point is that you never get anywhere by imposing values. I might appreciate the family ideal when I marry a girl and if I have kids with her, but only if I'm allowed to figure that out on my own.

But, back to the blog topic. The issue at hand is that with such strong media influence, it's harder for young people to think for themselves. I mentioned Transformers because it was a much more benign show, and "taught" better values than Sex and the City does.

(And for the record, my parents DID care about what I watched; I wasn't allowed to watch G.I. Joes because my parents felt it was too violent.)

Keep blaming the parents though. You know that'll solve everything. I blame mine and it solves nothing. Could they do better? Heck yes. But if you REALLY want to get to the "root" of things, go past the fact that they're so busy and realize that they're so busy because of the lifestyle we've want these days. Everyone wants to have the best, or be an alpha etc ect.

I don't want to get into though. The main point is that it's disturbing for kids to look up to shows that use innuendo and satire the kids won't really understand until they're older.

lewsta

back to de la Mancha: the thing that is amusing aobut your response to mine (and I DO appreciate much the gentle and respectful tone I see...) is that you state it you nnever get anywhere by "imposing values". Well, to gently disagree, EVERY parent "imposes values". the question is WHICH ONES? Parents who are chasing after "the good life", too busy because of the lifestyle they're wanting will impose that set of values whether they try to or not. What I am on about is that the set of values needs to change, from the materialistic/secular humanistic set we as a culture have set up (and which SATC portrays so well) to a godly set, where relationships, family identity (a healthy one), looking upon the cares of others, and a solid view toward eternity are the governing factors. Major shift, I know, but that is precisly what I am after.

You are correct, it does nothing to blame parents. By then it is too late, their values have been imposed. BBut somewhere along the path, we must be able to evaluate where the path has taken us thus far, where it seems to be going, and make a decision as to whether the present path is "working". If not, course adjustments are in order. Blaming parents is useless, but evaluating the set of values which has been, heretofore, imposed is a wise exercise. Children can only be blamed so far for living out the value set they've been given growing up, although there IS a place for those children, as adults, taking responsibility for their direction and values and making needed changes. Remember the old saw :if you always do what you've always done, you'll always be where you've always been". the key: change SOMETHING, else the scenery never changes. My point, and in keeping with the direction of this post, is that the base model of values needs to change, and leaving kids to choose which of the media idols they'll adopt as a proper model is lunacy. Parents MUST begin replacing that corrupt system with a solid one.

luthor rex

"I mentioned Transformers because it was a much more benign show, and "taught" better values than Sex and the City does."

Yes! Optimus Prime vs. Carrie, Megatron vs. Charlotte, Starscream vs. Miranda, and Jetfire vs. Samantha.

There's a battle I'd like to see.

Jessica

Uggh, so true. As my husband and I (science geeks both) would say, "lack of frontal lobe development strikes again!" Unfortunately for middle school girls (which happen to be the ones I teach), their frontal lobe development isn't yet complete. So, it's true-- they are literally incapable of some of the nuances of thought that we "grown up" girls take for granted. All of the media maze that strikes us as ironic, sarcastic, or intended as an anti-example strikes them as.... reality and the epitome of cool. Even though I get to "parent" my kids at school, I do not envy the full-time parents of today's girls. Lot of tough conversations just waiting to happen there...

Jessica Rogers
Owner, Sakura Rose Boutique
www.sakurarose.com

Rofigo de la Mancha

Lewsta, you stepped on my toes by saying that being secular humanist was the wrong path. You have your view of "right," but it's not going to work so well without being fascist about it, ultimately destroying what you set out to do in the first place. I'll leave you alone, I think.

Luthor, well met. I think you could do a whole blog post comparing Transformer characters to Sex and the City characters. However, this is neither the time or place for it. I do appreciate the comment though lol

Luthor

"you stepped on my toes by saying that being secular humanist was the wrong path"

I doubt most people understand what Secular Humanism is. When people hear that phrase I somehow doubt they will think Paul Kurtz/free inquiry/skeptical inquirer.

"I think you could do a whole blog post comparing Transformer characters to Sex and the City characters. I do appreciate the comment though lol"

The LOL makes it all worth it...

Michelle

What a great site dedicated to good stories of modesty. I am a Christian mom teaching modesty coming from a past similar to many of you who have contributed to this site. My sons have battled at times too, living in Southern California but they have had to learn to live in a world that does not seem at times to care about their thoughts as far as modesty and appearance are concerned. Again, thank you. A mom of seven.

Luthor Rex

Ok, you ladies have had a long enough break. Time for more blogging!

Paul Clutterbuck

Going back to what Jessica Rogers said about frontal lobe development, it actually doesn't complete until a person is in their mid-20s, which is why university students tend to be just as out-of-control as teenagers. Drinking and drug-taking only exacerbates the problem.

Going back to university in my mid-30s was a revelation, with most of the other students between 18 and 24. I had to make the choice not to have anything to do with student social life, except the Christian Union. I can't be bothered with the Chunder Mile or the Spring Break or the end-of-year parties, because I'm there to study and advance a life work I've been more-or-less committed to since these school leavers were in nappies (sorry, diapers).

At least there do seem to be the ones and twos among students who do maintain their modesty and (apparently) their chastity. I'm praying for them that they'll keep the faith, and for the others that one day they'll see the light.

The comments to this entry are closed.